5 Things I Dislike About Traveling

First thing's first. After you've read this stimulating blog post (;)), and The Peach & The Pit, please check out my Chocolate Glazed Golden Grahams Cookies guest post over on The Sunday Sweet today! Next week I'll be donating a batch of these for auction at The Sunday Sweet's online bake sale, so check back to bid!

In a few short days, I'll be leaving for our annual family vacation in Aruba. If you recall, it's also the home of my 2008 beach wedding and pirate-themed rehearsal dinner. Though I don't really think it's possible to be anymore excited than I am, there are some things that I dislike about traveling. Things that give me anxiety and things that I'd all together rather not do.

1.The trip preparation

Though I like to think of myself as a master packer, the pre-trip 'get ready' always puts me a little on edge.

I'm a definite list maker, but the idea of plotting out outfits for minimal packing, getting on top of my laundry and shopping for any other needs still feels a bit daunting.

2. The airport experience

Am I alone in this? I doubt it. Airports are one of the worst places ever. Everything about them is meant to cause anxiety. Will the car pick us up on time? Will there be traffic getting to the airport? Will there be a line at check-in? Will there be a long line at Security? Do I have anything that will be confiscated at security (like a rogue sharp hairpin, bottle of moisturizer or bottle of water)? Will I set off the metal detector (even though I've removed essentially everything but my leggings and a low cut, tight tank top)? Once I'm through security, should I stop to get food or water before getting to the gate? Or put my stuff down first? What about the bathroom? Will my flight be delayed?

I know, I'm crazy. But these are the things I think about.

3. The flying experience

This one I've actually gotten better about. I used to be terrified of flying. Since I've done quite a lot of flying over the last 2 years, I've had to get over my fears and just get to it. I don't love turbulence, but I'm getting used to it. It doesn't hurt throwing in a trip to Europe too...suddenly it makes all domestic flights seem like a cake walk.

4. Not having all my options

I try to pack light but it's a tough one. I like to have options. Sometimes I don't feel like wearing the clothing that I brought or realize I am missing an appropriate item to wear. I also try to leave my hair dryer at home if possible, but it's inevitable that the hotel hair dryer will be a significantly less awesome option than my own.

5. Weight gain

This is usually inevitable for me. I overindulge. I get bloated. But I do thoroughly enjoy all of the different and delicious food that is eaten on vacation.

I just hate coming home to tight clothing and a feeling of dread about the upcoming (and necessary) detox.

 

With all of this in mind, I'm still super excited! Today I'm feeling daunted to cross everything off my list. I hate laundry and I hate packing! I usually have more fun making the list than actually doing anything on the list. I'm not complaining though. In a few days I'll be in paradise, and that, my friends, makes all of the anxiety caused by the above completely worth it.

What is your least favorite aspect of traveling? Or do you simply love every second?

Psst...if you like what you see here, please check out my other blog that I write with my 2 fab sisters, The Peach & The Pit Of It! Hope to see you over there!

How to Pack for Las Vegas - Work Edition

I’m at it again. I’m going on a trip! Weeee!

This time, I’m heading to Las Vegas for 5 days (ack) with work for our biggest trade show of the year. Though it is usually a lot of fun (and a lot of work), I am not looking forward to leaving Shaun for such a long time. At least when you are in Vegas, everything kind of feels like one long day so I’m hoping that it will fly by and I can get home to him in a flash :)

Just like when I went to Madrid and Zurich, my inner nerd gets soooooo happy at times like these. Traveling means lists and organizing and the challenge of squeezing just the appropriate amount of clothing into the smallest suitcase possible. It’s kind of fun in a weird, sick way.



So what am I packing? I find these kinds of trips to be the most challenging. I’m going to Vegas, which means fun, colorful outfits! But I’m also working, so looking professional is the top priority. And for the evening hours? Perhaps a little less stuffy, but still business appropriate (I guess that means I’ll be leaving my super cute romper at home...maybe...).

For the same trip last year, I consulted fashion expert and my BFF Catherine Sheppard over at The Life Styled. She’s pretty much a genius when it comes to fashion tips and plans based on personal style. I love her. This year, I’m following her same advice, so I can’t take credit for my planned outfits...but I will share with you the rundown of what I’m packing for Vegas and why.

I do lay out each outfit for each day that I will be traveling. I have 3 days at the conference and then evening events, for which I will likely change. There’s got to be more fun outfits for the evening - we are in Vegas after all!

Pencil skirts.
I might fall into the category of having a full-blown obsession with pencil skirts, especially in the summer time heat.

They are a nice fit for my smaller lower half (anywhere and everywhere above the hips is typically where I’m tormented), can be mixed and matched with a number of different tops, and they always take a look to the category of professional and put together. That’s what I’m going for. Oh and extra checks for the comfort factor.

Various tops.
I pick out specific ones that will match the skirts and bonus if a top will go with more than one...I love having options!

I bring a few extras in case I change my mind and tops take up little room in the suitcase, so I don’t mind throwing a few more into the mix.

Pumps.
Heels are a must. They just are. I’m bringing 2 pairs of pumps (a black and a nude) and a pair of heeled gladiator sandals for the evening.

Ok, I might also throw in one pair of flats just in case my feet are dying by the time Day 3 rolls around. But my general rule of thumb for this situation is...suck it up. Take Advil. Sometimes I just force myself to deal in order to look the part.

Nighttime Attire.
A couple of skirts with a few options for tops.This will be my plan for most evenings. It’s going to be HOT in Vegas, so I don’t think I will be wearing pants too often, BUT I am bringing one pair of jeans which can obviously go with just about every top in my suitcase.

I have a few black dresses that could easily work - possibly with a fun belt or accessories to make it more ‘nighttime in Vegas’ while still staying appropriate for going out with co-workers or clients. And ok, my romper is definitely coming with me (on the below right).



Blazers/Cardigans.
Both are perfect options for day or night. I’m bringing one white blazer (I love it’s crisp, summery vibe) and one black blazer (perfect for evening). I also threw in ¾ sleeve cardigans - one in black, one in white. Versatility is key!

Accessories.
Though admittedly I do own a nice collection of 'nice' jewelry, I love fun accessories. I have a full drawer of them, and I think they are the ideal way to make any outfit more fun. I added bangles, long necklaces and some dangly earrings. I also added 3 belts, which can be mixed and matched with all of my outfits for the week.

How do I fit all of this in one small carry-on sized suitcase? Well, let me tell you...I'm a master packer. I start by lining the bottom of the suitcase with my shoes.

Then, with the bigger items first, I get my roll on! Roll up those clothes as small as possible and start placing them in the suitcase, making sure to fill up all of the available space.

Layer the rolls of clothing until all of your clothes are snug as a bug in a rug.

 

On top, add your toiletry bag, flat iron, belts and blazers across the top. It will be a tight squeeze, but you can do it! Make sure your top piece is fully expanded. Here's the rundown of what I fit in this smallish suitcase:

3 pairs of high heels
6 skirts
10 tops
2 cardigans
1 blazer (I'm wearing the other one on the plane)
1 t-shirt
1 pair leggings
1 pair of jeans
1 black dress
1 romper
1 pair of shorts
3 belts
10 pairs of underwear
3 bras
8 pairs of HUE no-show socks (for inside the pumps)
1 toiletry bag
1 makeup bag
1 flat iron (I'm leaving my hair dryer home and will wing it with the hotel version!)
1 hair brush

Not too shabby, right? I'll be carrying on my laptop, Kindle and other goodies for some airplane fun. And there you have it. My {very} detailed rundown of what I'm bringing on my 5 day trip. So what do you think? What are your tips for fitting a lot of stuff in a small case? Or packing tips in general?

What I'm Wearing in Europe

In 2 short days I'll be leaving on a jet plane.

I am getting so excited. You are probably tired of hearing me talk about it, but that is what's going on with me. No food, just travel plans. I haven't even cooked anything in like a week since we are trying to eat up whatever we have in the kitchen in advance of being away for 7 days. Meanwhile, I wanted to share how I'm choosing what to wear on the trip and some other tips for getting ready for travel!

Get your list on. My inner nerd is sooooo happy right now. Not only did I make a full packing list, but I also made a list of what types of clothing I would want/need for each day of the trip. For example, I will be sightseeing everyday but Shaun made some fancy dinner reservations for a few nights. Of course, I will want to change into something a little nicer. This then informed the packing list.

Get shopping. I'm not advocating breaking the bank, but chances are that you might not have exactly what you want, clothing-wise. This is where the packing list comes in. Especially if you are going for a certain 'look' on the trip. My plan was to be comfortable yet fashionable, and definitely able to mix and match my clothing so that I have lots of options on the trip. I went to Nordstrom Rack and made out like a bandit. I combined a few pairs of shorts with 5 or 6 tops. I love to be a minimalist while traveling, while still getting to have options. My motto was comfy yet effortlessly fab.

My mom also picked up a couple of skirts and tops for me at the J. Crew outlet.

I also plan to bring jeans in case it's cooler. As for 'dressy' items, I always go with black. It always looks good, can be layered in different ways and doesn't show too many wrinkles. My favorite item? The romper!

I got a similar-looking (but extremely less expensive) romper at the Rack. I can wear this with my red flats (the only fancy shoes I'm bringing), a cardigan and a pretty necklace and I'm set for a night on the town. I also plan to pick up a black jersey dress that can be worn belted.

Plan your footwear. I'm only bringing 3 pairs of very versatile shoes. For everyday walking and sightseeing, I purchased a brand new pair of TOMS that will go with all of my outfits (actually, I picked these out first, which I highly recommend!) and are super comfortable to boot!

For a fancier shoe, I'm bringing my comfortable red flats. They will pack easily and make all of my black dresses and rompers 'pop' in the evening hours.

Lastly, I am bringing my running shoes since I do still plan to exercise while I'm away! Especially since I'll be on my own for a lot of the trip. I have no excuses :)

Accessorize. I picked up a couple of new necklaces at Forever 21 which can be easily worn with most of my outfits to dress them up a bit. Oh and did I mention that I hardly broke the bank with these purchases?

Layer. The last item for dressing in Europe is to layer! I'm bringing a few cardigans, my circle scarves and perhaps one or two long sleeve shirts that I can wear in a pinch if it's chilly in the evening.

So there you have it. How I'm getting my dress on while I'm traveling. How do you plan your clothing for travel? Are you a minimalist? Or do you like to have options?